Real-life fraud cases to learn from: Part 1

Real-life fraud cases to learn from: Part 1

With the recent rise in financial fraud cases, it's essential to know how to keep your bank information safe to avoid falling victim to fraud.

Scammers may be clever, but you must be more clever. This article will share some real-life fraud cases to help you spot and stop a scam before it happens.  

But first, how does fraud happen?

Fraud occurs when a scammer obtains information related to your bank account or card in one way or another to make unauthorised transactions or transfer money from your account to theirs.

How do scammers convince their victims to disclose their bank information? 

Here are just a few examples: 

Case 1: Hello...congratulations, you've won 9,999 JOD

Sami is a 29-year-old who plans to marry his childhood love soon. A few months ago, Sami got a call from someone claiming to be a Bank al Etihad employee. The so-called employee said, "Congratulations Sami! You've won 9,999 JOD!" and asked him for his bank details to transfer the amount. 

Sami was happy beyond words - he could finally afford the wedding! But his happiness was quickly replaced with confusion when he received a text message from the bank telling him that 1,200 JOD had been withdrawn from his account. 

When Sami contacted the bank, it became clear that he hadn’t won 9,999 JOD and that the call he got was, in fact, a ploy to steal his money. "If only I had checked with the bank before giving out my details to a scammer," Sami says.  

What did Sami learn from this? Not to share his bank information with anyone claiming to be a bank employee, as they would never ask for his bank details over the phone.

By the way, if you're planning to get married like Sami, here are 7 tips for planning a wedding on a budget.

Case 2: Attention...your account will be closed

Marwan is a 52-year-old businessman who, while on a business trip to Ireland last year, received a message on Facebook from an account impersonating Bank al Etihad. The impersonator told him that he needed to provide the bank with his updated information so they could keep his account open.

Marwan didn't think to check whether his account was actually threatened with closure, and  gave all his details to the scammer. 30 minutes later, Marwan's account balance was zero. 

The scammer didn't even leave him any money for a return ticket to Amman! 

When we spoke with Marwan, he told us that the scammer talked exactly how a Bank al Etihad employee would and asked him the security questions that bank employees ask, such as what his last transaction was and what his account balance was.

Of course, upon hearing this, we told Marwan that our official social media accounts are verified with a blue tick and that the bank would never ask him to share his details on social media.     

And don't worry about Marwan! He returned to Amman and made double what he lost last year as he focused on his business and left the task of managing his company's finances to the Etihad for Business platform, which provides streamlined banking services to businesses.

Case 3: Participate and win! 

Manar is a 30-year-old jewellery designer who turned her hobby of making jewellery into a profitable business. Another one of her hobbies is participating in competitions. So, when she saw an online post by Bank al Etihad announcing a contest with a 20,000 JOD cash prize, she got very excited. 

But what Manar didn't know was that the account was fake and was impersonating Bank al Etihad to defraud its customers. To participate in the competition, the scammer asked Manar to share her bank card information on the page for a chance to win the prize, then asked her to share the one-time password (OTP) that she would receive shortly by text message.

Can you guess what happened after?

Manar shared all the required information, and the scammer was able to make an online purchase worth 600 JOD!

Although she lost some of her earnings that month, Manar learned that the OTP is a code that authorises the withdrawal of an amount from her account and that she should never share it with anyone. 

Don't want to fall into the same trap that Manar fell into? Here are 8 tips to protect yourself from credit card fraud.

The lesson to learn from these cases

There are phone numbers and pages on social media that use the Bank al Etihad name to defraud our customers. But with vigilance, you can avoid falling victim to these scams. 

Don't share information related to your bank account or card with anyone, and know that we would never request this information through a phone call or social media. 

You may remember in a previous article, we mentioned that fraud is on the rise. And while it remains an ongoing issue affecting people around the world, numerous individuals and organisations are working tirelessly to confront it. 

To help you protect yourself, we will highlight several real-life fraud cases to familiarise you with different types of scams, so you don't fall victim to them.   

First, how does fraud happen?

Fraud occurs when a scammer tricks an individual into sharing sensitive information about themselves or their organisation. Although the goal is almost always money-related, fraudsters' motives may extend beyond direct financial gain.

In any case, the consequences of falling for a scam can be devastating. That's why knowing what tactics scammers employ is crucial. 

Here are some common ones: 

Click the link below...

Hadi had just received an email from his colleague Mariam, who he's known for years. The email stated he could access an important presentation they had been working on by clicking the link below.  

So, Hadi clicked the link. He was redirected to another window where he was asked to enter his work username and password. Thinking this was a standard security measure, Hadi put in his details and clicked the "Enter" button.  

As soon as he did, Hadi began to feel uneasy. So, he rechecked the email and discovered that the email address wasn't Mariam's — it only closely resembled hers. 

Hadi had just fallen victim to a phishing attack. The link he clicked on was designed to steal his login details and gain access to trade secrets. 

Of course, Hadi contacted his company's IT department right away and changed his password. 

And if his experience has taught him anything, it's that checking the sender's email address and looking out for spelling and grammar mistakes is essential, as those are tell-tale signs of phishing attacks.

Deal Alert! 

Maha was scrolling through Facebook when an ad for shirts caught her attention. She had been searching for affordable shirts to wear to the gym, and finally, it seemed like she had found what she was looking for.

Maha clicked on the ad and selected her size and preferred colours. After reading the glowing customer reviews, she felt confident finalising her order. She headed to the checkout page, entered her credit card information, and completed the purchase.  

A few days later, she started receiving SMS notifications about transactions on her credit card, which was unusual since she didn't recall making those purchases. 

It turned out that the t-shirt website was a scam, and Maha’s credit card information was being used to make unauthorised purchases. So, she immediately froze her card and requested a replacement through our mobile banking app. 

Safe to say, Maha now knows how important it is to ensure the websites she visits are legitimate. She always checks that the website addresses display "HTTPS" and a padlock icon, and that they're Verified by Visa before making any purchase. 

You've been selected as a winner!  

Laith, a dedicated Instagram user, received a direct message from an account claiming that he was one of two lucky winners of an online lottery. 

All he had to do to claim his half of the prize was provide his details, including his full name, phone number, and bank account details.  

Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to win a large sum of money, Laith provided the information requested. He was then informed that there was one last step — he had to pay a 100 JOD admin fee, and once he did, his lottery money would be transferred. 

So, Laith paid the amount and waited patiently. Once a few days had passed, he decided to message the account again, only to find that it had disappeared. 

Unfortunately, Laith had fallen for a lottery scam, a common method that scammers use to lure people into giving their personal information and paying an amount at once.   

There are several key takeaways from Laith's experience. First, trust your gut. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Second, it's best not to message back any account you don't know in person. Finally, be extra cautious of people pressuring you to make a payment within a short timeframe.   

The bottom line

Fraudsters may have many tricks up their sleeves, but there are also many steps you can take to protect yourself. These include not sharing your personal information by email or on social media platforms and monitoring your bank account for suspicious activity. 

And remember, if you think a scammer may be trying to deceive you into giving them money or your private details for other purposes, double-check with the relevant parties (for example, your bank or company's IT department) before taking any action.    

This way, you will be able to beat them at their own game! 

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